Sup with the Founding Fathers worship? Why so much male influence in politics, and religion?
Historian: What would Founding Fathers think of Donald Trump
By Joseph J. Ellis
Updated 7:44 PM ET, Thu May 5, 2016
CNN Editors Note: Joseph J. Ellis is the author of many works of American history, including the Pulitzer Prize winner “Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation” and “American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson,” which won the National Book Award. His most recent book, “The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution,” is out in paperback from Vintage Books. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
Or suppose we shift the questions. What would the Founders think about Hillary Clinton? Well, they were imbedded in a patriarchal world in which a woman’s right to vote, much less run for the presidency, was unimaginable.
Or, to push the point even further, what would they say about Barack Obama? That should provoke an interesting conversation, since few of the Founders believed that whites and blacks could live together in the same society once slavery was ended. On both of these scores they have more to learn from us than we from them.
One of their enduring legacies, which was awkward in their own day and is anachronistic in ours, is the Electoral College. I’m not sure whether it would help or hurt Trump’s cause, but I’m virtually certain the Founders would nod their approval if we dispensed with electoral votes and chose our presidents in a popular election.